Government officials, not wanting to have the space program canceled, substitute a lookalike for an astronaut who died on a Mars mission.

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(teleplay), (teleplay) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Credited cast:
...
...
Eddie Reese / Col. Brice Randolph
...
Dr. Wylie
...
John Phillips
...
Gail Randolph
John Lupton ...
Don Masters
Walter Brooke ...
Tom Everett
...
Astronaut Higgins
Paul Kent ...
Carl Samuels
Loretta Leversee ...
Toni Scott
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Patsy Garrett ...
Boy's Mother
...
Agent Wilson
Paul Micale ...
Beachgoer
John S. Ragin ...
Walters
Wally Schirra
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Storyline

In the not too distant future the first American astronaut prepares to set foot on the planet Mars. The world is watching this event live on television. Everything is a success, or so the world thinks, and he is treated as a hero upon his return. Later, it is discovered that the mission was a failure and as the astronaut was on Mars he died of an undetermined condition either due to toxic poisoning due to conditions on Mars or some unknown bacteria native to Mars. Mission controllers on Earth saw this happening and fed a false image into the "live" broadcast so as not to panic the public. The "astronaut" who returned to Earth was actually a double who had undergone surgery so as to look like the real astronaut. Only the wife of the astronaut began to suspect the man who returned, although looking identical to her husband, was somehow different. Unfortunately for those who created the hoax, the Russians announced that due to the American success they had launched their own mission ... Written by Kevin Steinhauer <K.Steinhauer@BoM.GOV.AU>

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Drama

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Release Date:

8 January 1972 (USA)  »

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(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Quotes

Kurt Anderson: [final line] Mr. President, I have some very unpleasant news - for both of us.
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User Reviews

 
The replacement astronaut
4 August 2015 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Before "Capricorn One" appeared this taut little time filler starring Monte Markham in dual roles, ably supported by the under-rated Susan Clark as the wife of the first astronaut to land on Mars. Complications arise however and NASA (led principally by Jackie Cooper and Bob Lansing) create an elaborate ruse to ensure funding for future projects isn't jeopardised.

Walter Brooke has a key supporting role as a reporter and friend to the shuttle commander, whilst there are small roles for James B.Sikking as the co-pilot and Richard Anderson as the NASA doctor and reluctant co-conspirator.

It's remarkably tame considering the risks associated with the premise, and neither Cooper nor Lansing appear to have any sinister intentions, their plight driven by misguided loyalty and patriotism more than any villainous ambition. Economical movie of the week.


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